Would do you like to fire someone today? 

“It’s not the person you fail to hire that destroys your restaurant; it’s the person you fail to fire”. I read this last week and thought that it was all too true in many cases! We knew better but failed to act! The renowned Osmond’s song above implies one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch, but we know from experience, it’s quite the contrary.

In this world where we endeavor to be supportive and understanding, living in an environment where we never want to upset anyone, we sometimes miss the boat on what our staff really needs from us as leaders, and that is making those tough decisions. Believe me, the rest of the team usually knows what needs to be done and wonder why you are not addressing it.

I am not suggesting that you go after your team with a vengeance. Simply evaluate if there is anyone you are keeping around that should not be there. When you read the title of this article, who did you think of? Is there someone in your organization that can be rotting the rest of the barrel?

Staff will often complain that they do not like all the rules and regulations and being held accountable, but if they don’t see that accountability happening, they get the impression that no one cares. In turn, some of your best staff who work really hard, will be leaving your establishment in a heartbeat! Who wants to work in an environment where no-one cares? We all thrive when we know that someone cares, is watching what we do, that hard work will be recognized, and those who don’t work hard will be dealt with swiftly.

Your team deserves this, and although at times this may seem like an unnecessarily harsh reality, it is what will keep your staff around feeling proud of what they do and staying motivated.

So, don’t be afraid to lay down the law, hold your team accountable, and drive [gently] the team towards the goal. Being afraid to upset the apple cart has never been a great strategy. Remember these three things:

o   Involve the team in creating the rules, when practical

o   Communicate the rules to all ahead of time – along with the consequences

o   Hold everyone accountable, including your best team members, and yourself!

If you do this unemotionally, timely, and fairly, you will lead your team in the right direction resulting in an outstanding and positive work environment.


Russ Blakeborough | Managing Director | Focus – F&B

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